I recently learned this horrifying statistic: about half the world's food is tossed out. Instead of wasting the stalk, start the year off differently by learning how to prep the entire broccoli crown (stems included!). In addition to feeling better about less waste, this technique will make even the broccoli stems a desirable part of the cruciferous vegetable and will help cook the stems and florets evenly and thoroughly.
- Start at the stalk of the broccoli. Cut away the root end, which may appear dry and discolored. Holding the head of the broccoli firmly, use a vegetable peeler to peel the entire stalk, then slice it into 1/4-inch rounds.
- When the broccoli stalk divides into the floret stems, cut the stems apart from each other. Holding each large floret piece, use a vegetable peeler to peel the stems. Cut the stems into 1/2-inch rounds until you are left with one-inch broccoli florets.
- Once all of the broccoli is cut, go back through the florets and ensure they are all the same size. To cut the floret pieces, turn them so the stem side faces up. Cut the stem in half, stopping when you hit the florets. Then, use your hands to split the piece into two parts.
The first thing I learned to cook was scrambled eggs, followed by macaroni and cheese. I'm pretty sure the third thing I learned to cook was beef and broccoli stir-fry. My best friend growing up (who, 22 years later, is still my best friend) is Chinese, and her dad would make the most incredible stir-fries using very simple ingredients.
Growing up, we'd beg her father to tell us exactly how he prepared his beef and broccoli. How much soy sauce did he put in? For exactly how long did it need to marinate? And what's the trick to stir-frying so swiftly with chopsticks? He always shrugged at our questions and responded with ambiguous answers, so we resorted to watching him intensely to understand the process. Years later, every time we munch on our attempted beef and broccoli dish, we taste a glimmer of her father's famed flavors, but we've decided it may require a lifetime before we've mastered it.
Even this rendition is a far cry from her father's. When I called my best friend for exact details to the recipe, I realized she has inherited her father's fashion. She vaguely replied, "Oh, you could add a little of this and a pinch of that. These ingredients are optional, of course. It's whatever you feel like."
What I felt like creating is the most basic marinade, but three simple ingredients magically transform into a rich, flavorful sauce for the beef. The standout ingredient has to be oyster sauce. Despite its somewhat repulsive name, it gives dishes a salty, earthy, almost mushroom-like flavor. I adore it. Also worth mentioning is peanut oil. Although a bit more expensive than canola oil, it is so worth the splurge. Unlike neutral oils, peanut oil imparts a subtle, nutty flavor to the stir-fry. If you're allergic to peanut oil, use a neutral vegetable oil to stir-fry and splash a few dashes of roasted sesame oil into the finished dish to achieve a similar effect. Click here to see the beef and broccoli recipe.
While this White House soup didn't initially call for any toppings, I added a dollop of light sour cream and a drizzle of jalapeño olive oil to boost the soup's body and flavor. Serve this with a spring salad, French bread, and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for a fresh and veggie-filled dinner. Get this simple recipe and read more.
Hooray for non-boring broccoli! This awesome superfood can get a bit repetitive over time, so I decided to find a way to spice it up a bit. Fresh ginger, garlic and a bit of soy sauce add a lot of flavor with minimal calories. So quick and easy; it's an impressive side dish. Enjoy!
Learn more about this recipe after the break!
Go green this season with a tasty broccoli romanesco recipe. From the salsa verde to the roasted broccoli, everything about this delicious dish is great for St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, or any other day you want to bring a little bright color into your life. Learn how to make it now!
Greening up your St. Patrick's Day meal doesn't have to involve green food coloring. As we continue filling lil ones' plates with green vegetables for this week's holiday, we checked in with kiddie chef extraordinaire Catherine McCord, founder of Weelicious and mother of two, for some tot-friendly recipes. From veggie pops to some crispy, Italian-style asparagus, check out Catherine's green picks for kids.
I posted this recipe a few weeks ago at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly magazine. As lovely as lighter fare was sounding then, it is even truer now — right? No worries, this dish still packs a big flavor punch.
Feeling weighed down? Yeah. I offer this palate cleanser of a dish. I like this recipe for the tips on dry-frying the tofu, imparting a nice chewiness and intensifying the quick marinade. The original recipe calls for asparagus, but I substituted broccoli since my kids prefer it. You'll be glad to know that this dish comes together quickly enough to satisfy tired, hungry family members.